8 Steps to DOT Drug Testing Compliance For Trucking Companies

Last updated on September 16th, 2021 at 05:46 pm

If you are operating a trucking company or bus company with drivers that you employ, you may need a DOT drug & alcohol testing program.  If you are a self-employed owner operator of a truck, you need a slightly different program – DOT Consortium Compliance For The Owner Operator

If you are new in the trucking industry, learn what you can expect from you new entrant exam from the FMCSA – What Can I Expect From By FMCSA New Entrant Exam?

Below we will discuss these 8 steps for drug testing compliance with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for trucking companies.

Determine if you are required to have a DOT drug & alcohol testing program

How do you know if your trucking company is required to have DOT drug and alcohol testing? Follow this formula:
Do you nave CDL drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMV) on public roads in vehicles that:

If you say yes to any of the above, these drivers are considered covered employees for the DOT – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin (FMCSA) drug and alcohol testing program.

Implement a DOT drug & alcohol testing policy

A written drug & alcohol testing policy is required. It must include various components under the DOT FMCSA regulations. These components include:

Provide educational materials to your drivers

The FMCSA regulations require that you provide educational materials to your drivers.  This education must include:

Provide reasonable suspicion supervisor training to your supervisors

Your company must ensure that all persons designated to supervise drivers receive at least 60 minutes of training on alcohol misuse and receive at least an additional 60 minutes of training on controlled substances use. This is typically a two-hour training program. The training will be used by the supervisors to determine whether reasonable suspicion exists to require a driver to undergo testing. The training shall include the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances. Recurrent training for supervisory personnel is not required. See available online supervisor training for reasonable suspicion determination.

Register in the FMCSA Clearinghouse, query new drivers & run annual queries

The FMCSA Clearinghouse is an online database of driver violations managed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Employers have responsibilities in the Clearinghouse that include:

Employer assistance in the Clearinghouse is available, check out ClearinghouseServices.com for expert assistance.

Conduct required drug & alcohol testing including pre-employment testing

Drug and alcohol testing of your drivers is a required component of your DOT drug testing program.  Testing is required to occur for:

Remove drivers that have violations or a prohibited status

It is serious business when a driver fails a drug test or alcohol test or refuses a test.  The driver must be removed from his or her safety sensitive driving position.  The driver must be referred to a substance abuse professional (SAP) program. The driver cannot return to a driving position until completion of the SAP program and a negative return to duty drug test. More on the return to duty process.

Keep complete records of your program

As with any type of policy or safety program, records are important; and documentation must be maintained. The third-party administrator (TPA) for you drug testing program can assist with some of the record record-keeping but the employer has responsibilities also. FMCSA regulation Part 382 section 401 outlines the specific record keeping requirements – Subpart D—Handling of Test Results, Records Retention, and Confidentiality

Summary and More Information DOT Compliance for Trucking Companies

Following the eight steps listed above will keep your company in compliance with DOT FMCSA drug and alcohol testing requirements. Compliance is important to avoid fines and penalties.  Learn more about DOT Compliance >

Ready to get started for a great DOT drug and alcohol testing program, see our special packages below:

Owner Operator DOT Consortium Package

FMCSA Complete Compliance Bundle for up to 10 Drivers

FMCSA Complete Compliance Bundle for 11-40 Drivers

FMCSA Random Program for Companies with 40+ Drivers

DOT Urine Drug Test

Expert Assistance with FMCSA Clearinghouse

Author Bio
DOT Trucking Company, three black line work trucks

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